how long to soak bird feeder in bleach

Keeping feeders clean is an important part of feeder maintenance. Clean and sanitize your feeders on a regular basis. This can be every few weeks or more frequently.

Here are some guidelines to follow when caring for your wooden feeders, copper feeders, or tube feeders.

Wooden Feeder Care Wooden feeders will naturally fade over the years. It is not necessary to treat wood feeders with any products; however, if you wish to maintain the appearance of your feeder, you can follow these simple directions.

Redwood or Cedar Feeders These types of wood are widely used for outside use because of their excellent weathering properties that are naturally found in the wood as it grows. Under normal conditions this wood remains functional for many years without any maintenance. However, it will fade in color as it weathers. If you would like to maintain the attractiveness of the wood, you can give it a coat of wood sealer or linseed oil every few years. It is important to apply water-soluble stain or wood sealer to the outside area of the feeder only. Never apply directly to the eating surface of the bird feeder.

Pine Feeders Pine feeders weather nicely but will fade with time. Apply linseed oil or a water soluble stain every few years as needed, if desired.

Copper Information & Care Copper adds warmth and color that cannot be duplicated by any other type of metal. It has the advantage of being highly corrosion resistant. Copper discolors rapidly to a pale green if nothing is done to preserve the color. To restore the brilliant luster of your copper feeder you will need to follow these steps: Polish the copper with a copper cleaner/varnish. Seal the copper with a clear lacquer.

Tube Feeders Wild Birds Unlimited tube feeders are designed with armored feeding stations and have a seed deflector that ensures all seed is eaten and does not sit at the bottom of the feeder. Wild Birds Unlimited seed tube feeders are made of clear polycarbonate plastic.

To clean seed tube and finch feeders, simply use a brush and warm water. If mold or debris is present, use a solution of nine parts water to one part bleach, rinse well, dry and refill with fresh seed. Cleaning your feeders will help them look better longer, and it decreases the possibility of spreading sickness and disease among your birds.

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When to clean feeders:

Generally speaking, we advise doing this every two weeks, but you should do it more frequently if traffic increases and right away if you notice any mold (learn more about mold in bird feeders here) or if you’ve observed a sick bird visit your feeder. It’s possible that a sick bird you saw at one of your feeders also visited one of your other feeders or baths. If this occurs, thoroughly clean them all with a simple solution.

* A deep cleaning is essentially a routine cleaning that is thorough and vigorous, plus after scrubbing, a good soak You’ll need to use equal parts boiling hot soapy water and white vinegar, or boiling hot soapy water with a small amount of bleach added. Please take note that using bleach on your wood feeders could leave a lasting odor; instead, follow our detailed cleaning instructions below!

  • A scrubbing brush or bottle brush that reaches everywhere.
  • For routine cleaning – Soap and hot water. (Dish soap works great!).
  • For deep cleaning – Bleach or vinegar. Below, see which is best for your feeder type.

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Wild Birds Unlimited’s tube feeders feature armored feeding stations and a seed deflector to guarantee that all of the seed is consumed and does not settle at the bottom of the feeder. Seed tube feeders from Wild Birds Unlimited are composed of transparent polycarbonate plastic.

Keeping feeders clean is an important part of feeder maintenance. Clean and sanitize your feeders on a regular basis. This can be every few weeks or more frequently.

Care for Wooden Feeders: Over time, wood feeders will naturally deteriorate. Wood feeders don’t need to be treated with any products, but if you want to keep your feeder looking nice, here are some easy steps you can take.

Here are some recommendations for maintaining your copper, wooden, or tube feeders.


Is it OK to clean bird feeders with bleach?

We recommend that, at minimum, when you clean your feeders you soak or scrub them with a dilute bleach solution, rinse them thoroughly, and let them dry before adding bird feed. If your feeders have visible debris, be sure to scrub them as long as necessary to remove all visible debris before cleaning them.

How long do you soak a bird feeder?

Let the feeder or bath soak in the bleach-water for at least five minutes. For bird baths, be sure to cover the bath with a piece of cardboard or something similar to keep the birds from drinking or bathing in the bleach solution during the cleaning process.

How much bleach do I need to clean my hummingbird feeder?

Bleach can be used, but it needs to be diluted — one part bleach to nine parts water. After cleaning, the feeder must be rinsed thoroughly to remove any traces of the bleach, not because of the odor but because drinking bleach isn’t good for anyone.

How do you clean and sanitize bird feeders?

To clean your feeder, take it apart and use a dishwasher on a hot setting or hand wash either with soap and boiling water or with a dilute bleach solution (no more than 1 part bleach to 9 parts water). Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry before refilling.